The 2012 Fowler Business Concept Challenge: Competition is Underway

Nick Wagner and John Beitelspacher (two in center), winners of the 2011 Fowler Business Concept Challenge Graduate Division, pose with Dean Puto (far left) and Dr. David Deeds (far right). Not pictured: Jesse Sumstad. Photo courtesy of Tom Whisenand, University of St. Thomas.

The Fowler Business Concept Challenge, which awarded $39,000 in scholarships to graduate and undergraduate students at the University of St. Thomas in 2011, is underway.

Launched in 2009, the annual Fowler Business Concept Challenge is named in recognition of Ron Fowler ’66, chairman and CEO of Liquid Investments Inc., whose generous gift to the university has made this and future competitions possible.

The Fowler Business Concept Challenge asks students to develop a business concept that has the potential to become a viable high-growth business. The teams that submit the winning business concept in each of two divisions (undergraduate and graduate) receive $10,000 University of St. Thomas scholarships.Each team will create and submit a five-page description of its concept for a new business explaining the product or service, the target customers, the value proposition to those customers and a description of the potential market, including size. Finalists will be chosen from among the initial submissions.

Finalists will then prepare a 20-minute presentation of their concept and present it on October 19 to a distinguished panel of judges drawn from the entrepreneurial, business and investment communities. The teams that present the best business concepts will be awarded scholarships.

  • $10,000 scholarship to first-place in each division.
  • $5,000 scholarship to runner-up in each division.
  • $2,500 scholarship to second runner-up in each division.

Solome Tibebu (center), winner of the 2011 Fowler Business Concept Challenge Undergraduate Division, poses with Dean Puto (left) and Dr. David Deeds (right). Photo courtesy of Tom Whisenand, University of St. Thomas.

2011 undergraduate winner Solome Tibebu says, "The Fowler Business Concept Challenge was an incredibly rewarding experience for me—it really made me step it up a notch and challenge many of my assumptions about Cognific. The process of putting together the proposal really helped me with organization, planning and finally believing that I can make this thing happen!"

For more information about the Fowler Business Concept Challenge, visit the Schulze School of Entrepreneurship Fowler Business Concept Challenge website and Fowler Facebook Page.